Southern Sexual, the collaboration of Angie Shlonk on guitar and vocals and Warren America on vocals and electronics, encompasses a lot of what we love about New Orleans. Eccentric, spicy and irreverent, their new album, In A Failing Third World Nation features the Southern electro-pop sounds about corrupt politicians, Mardi Gras madness and sexy single Read & Spinmoms. Put this on during a rowdy crawfish boil and things just might get hotter. Southern Sexual’s influences – listed on their MySpace page – include Bob Dylan, Camel Lights, Skyy Vodka and of course, Hurricane Katrina.

Read & SpinFiction l Celeste Tyler encounters the same haunting nightmare, week after week. She has finally overcome the physical and emotional challenges of a strange accident but her peaceful existence can’t last forever. As her mind is drawn into a world of demons and destruction … nope, sorry! You’ll have to read Tee Michael’s Accuser of the Brethren to find out more! Michael is described as a “talented, fun-loving, down-to-earth Southern Belle,” but clearly has gotten in touch with her darker side in this twisted novel.  

Read & SpinNon-fiction l As we descend upon the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, there’s still no shortage of stories that need to be told. Heart Like Water is one of these. The poignant memoir from the successful local editor and writer Joshua Clark recalls his experience in the French Quarter before, during and after the devastating storm. Clark reveals his personal memories and emotions in addition to conversations with the diverse group of rescue workers, locals and reporters. Vivid scenes and well-crafted dialogue, along with an analysis of the political, social and environmental issues surrounding the storm, all make Heart Like Water a must-read for anyone with a passion for New Orleans and the truth of its storm survivors. 

Read & SpinNon-fiction l Professor, attorney and author J. Michael Veron’s Shell Game: One Family’s Long Battle Against Big Oil is a true account of a modest Louisiana family’s tenacious challenge to Shell Oil and the lawyer who made it happen. It not only inspires, it educates the reader on the controversial world of major oil companies.  

Read & SpinPhotography/Art l David G. Spielman is known more for his photography than his writing. However, after deciding to stay in the city during Hurricane Katrina, Spielman managed to charge his laptop and keep his friends and family aware of the surrounding devastation through vivid e-mails that made their way around the globe. In Katrinaville Chronicles, the photojournalist aligns the e-mails with harrowing photographs illustrating the aftermath of the storm. “Katrina was the event. What happened after and what is happening now is the story. This story will play out for years to come,” Spielman says.  
– Karie Meltzer